New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is having the year of his career. Could he legitimately be in the running for league MVP? 

By Vincent Rapisardi

1authorvince2 - New York Giants: Is Eli Manning A Legitimate MVP Candidate?The New York Giants week one loss to the Dallas Cowboys was ugly.

A game that I blamed squarely on the shoulders of quarterback Eli Manning, not only for his poor play (completing 55% of his passes for just 193 yards) but for his lack of awareness late in the fourth quarter.

Related: Eli Manning Is To Blame For Week One Loss 

He followed his poor opening night performance, with back-to-back games in which he posted a passer rating above 100, while completing at least 67% of his passes in each game.

I then asked the question:

Was his poor week one performance a blessing in disguise? (Checkout my video by clicking on the link)

The way it’s looked over the last four weeks, Manning’s week one disaster seems to have undoubtedly sparked a fire that we have yet to see in his regular season career.

He currently ranks fourth in the league in passing yards (ahead of both Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady), fifth in touchdown passes, while completing the second-most passes behind Philip Rivers.

Let’s also point out, that while completing that many passes, he’s only thrown two interceptions and registered a passer rating of 100.2.

The ball is getting out quick, which has resulted in only four sacks on the season, and a clear uptick in his statistics thus far.

On third-downs, the team is converting 44.4% of the time (8th best in the league), which needs to be taken with a grain of salt considering the amount of dropped passes the team has endured in the first five weeks.

When it comes to third-down situations in between three and seven yards, Manning has posted a passer rating of 140.6 (on 20 passing attempts). Which again, would probably be much higher without the high frequency of dropped passes thus far.

Numbers aside for a second, his comfortability in the offense can’t go unnoticed.

Towards the end of the game with both Rueben Randle and Odell Beckham Jr. on the bench due to injury, his trust in the offense never seemed to waver. Making a couple of impressive throws to lesser known targets in wide receiver’s Geremy Davis and Dwayne Harris.

The offense is much more simple to run than anything he’s had in the past with offensive coordinator, Kevin Gilbride. In return, there seems to be a trust and buy-in to the system.

I mean, how many times in the past did we see Eli throw an incompletion, and right-away make a hand-gesture to the receiver of where he should’ve ran?

That just doesn’t happen anymore.

The quick-timing offense is clearly benefitting the receivers, who are able to do their job without much thought.

In the shotgun (almost 55% of his attempts) the objective is to get the ball out as quick as possible, with the thought in mind of making the receivers do the dirty work of getting yards after the catch.

It’s worked.

Factoring everything in thus far, is it crazy to think he’s in the running for league MVP?

These impressive numbers also come on the heels of the Giants three-game winning streak, and the takeover of first-place in the NFC East. Not to mention, a game-winning drive in Sunday’s win over the San Francisco 49ers, which provides a big moment for MVP voters to remember when voting.

At the moment, both Rodgers and Brady seem like the frontrunners, with Andy Dalton right behind them. But if Manning continues to execute this offense to a tee, he has to realistically be in the conversation for the league’s most valuable player award.

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